Montana, named after the Spanish word for "Mountains," is an often forgotten land. And the people who live here like it that way. Montana is where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, where Native American traditions blend with cowboy saloons and skier hangouts, where smiles at strangers on the street still happen, there's only one area code, and where the word freedom has never been forgotten. There's no reason to be bored here, and the residents of Montana rarely are. With National Parks on the North and South boundary lines, outdoor activities year-round, and music and job opportunities usually reserved for big cities, Montana really does have it all.
Nicknamed "The Last Best Place," and "The Big Sky State," Montana lives up to both. All four seasons exist in their full beauty here. Clear blue skies and mild temperatures define the Summer months, vibrant oranges and yellows coat the surface of Fall, blankets of cold smoke keep the skiers happy through the Winters, and Spring brings the welcome arrival of flowers, barbecues, and bicycles. It's a perfect place to live in harmony with nature, to relax between moments of hard and fulfilling work, and to enjoy the benefits of real community. Welcome to Montana.
LIVING IN MONTANA
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“I am in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love.” ― John Steinbeck
THINGS TO DO IN MONTANA
Life in Montana can feel unbelievable at times. Or too good to be true. Unlike other states in the region, the Montana lifestyle mixes classic American values of freedom, hard work, and respect with progressive thinking and open-mindedness. The result is an educated population who choose to live happy, healthy lives. Many come for work and stay for the play afforded by the mountains that sit, literally, right out the back door. Others come for the play and find great jobs in one of the fastest growing state economies in the nation.
People work hard in Montana. That's a fact. Whether it's ranching, hunting, technology, or banking, the general attitude is one of earning the privilege to live in such a beautiful place. And so when people get off work, they get outside to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Weekends are spent skiing, hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, gardening, floating, boating, climbing, going to museums or concerts, attending sporting events, or simply relaxing at home, enjoying 360 degree mountain views.
Montana just surpassed a million people in the entire state, and the word city doesn't really fit with any of the major population centers. The major "cities" are more like towns that have all the advantages of most urban communities. Historic buildings line beautified Main Streets and a ten minute drive will get you to any corporate shopping outlets that you need. But don't let anybody catch you! Montanans support local economy and place a high value on the many farmers markets, local businesses, and community creations that exist here.
We could keep this section short and just say "everything." But that doesn't quite paint the picture. It isn't uncommon for university students at MSU in Bozeman and University of Montana in Missoula to show up to class to see a sign on the door from the professor that simply said "No class--Snow day."
We promise that you will never, ever be bored in this state. Even if you hate the outdoors; if, somehow, you despise the cold, sunburn easily, are allergic to rainstorms and flowers, and are colorblind to the vibrant leaves of fall, you can still find world renown entertainment, university sports, intellectual pursuits, entrepreneurial opportunity and low prices.
But, assuming that you like all those things but also enjoy the magnificence of nature, let us list the ways. Montana has world class skiing in Big Sky Resort, the largest ski area in North America and averages about 400 inches of snowfall per year. Of course, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, ice climbing, and even ice skating are world class here as well. The warmer months provide the opportunity to enjoy those same mountains when they are covered in green. Fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, biking, climbing, floating, boating, kayaking and any other "-ing" word you can think of exist in abundance here. Montanans do it all and you can too.
WHERE TO LIVE IN MONTANA
Perhaps the most amazing thing about Montana is the staggering amount of geographic and cultural diversity that exists within its borders. Each place offers something unique. The Western part of the state offers culural centers of arts and entertainment. The Eastern part of the state offers agricultural and business hubs for the region. Scatterned in between, each place offers unique outdoor activies, various "vibes" and different types of people. So where to live in the 406 is largely dependent upon the kind of life you want to lead.